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FEMS Yeast Res. 2009 Oct;9(7):990-9.

Quorum sensing and fungal-bacterial interactions in Candida albicans: a communicative network regulating microbial coexistence and virulence.

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Department of Biosciences, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.


Microorganisms have evolved a complex signature of communication termed quorum sensing (QS), which is based on the exchange and sensing of low molecular- weight signal compounds. The ability to communicate within the microbial population gives the advantage to coordinate a groups behaviour leading to a higher fitness in the environment. The polymorphic fungus Candida albicans is an opportunistic human pathogen able to regulate virulence traits through the production of at least two QS signal molecules: farnesol and tyrosol. The ability to adopt multiple morphotypes and form biofilms on infected surfaces are the most important pathogenic characteristics regulated by QS and are of clinical relevance. In fact, traditional antimicrobial approaches are often ineffective towards these characteristics. Moreover, the intimate association between C. albicans and other pathogens, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, increases the complexity of the infection system. This review outlines the current knowledge on fungal QS and fungal-bacterial interactions emphasizing on C. albicans. Further investigations need to concentrate on the molecular mechanisms and the genetic regulation of these phenomena in order to identify putative novel therapeutic options.

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